Beach & Water
The pinnacle events of surf sports are largely contested throughout Australia with athletes showcasing their skills in numerous formats. The contested events span both the beach (flags, sprints, march past, marathon, and relays) and water (swim, board, ski, surf boat, rescues, and relays). These events aim to improve the skills, fitness and endurance of athletes to better perform in rescue situations.
A high-octane event, inflatable rescue boat (IRB) racing has a large following in Queensland as competitors from clubs around the state fight it out for surf rescue supremacy. Aside from the thrills of the competition the event is a real reinforcement of lifesaving skills. The races are all about simulating rescue situations and testing the abilities of drivers and crewpersons as they’re transferred to a competitive setting.
March Past is one of surf life saving's original events and represents the traditional discipline of a surf life saver. Teams, often dressed in full length Club swimming costumes, march in time to music around a set course carrying a surf reel, line and belt and following their standard (flag) bearer. Teams march in formation following commands and they are judged on factors such as timing, arm and leg swing, space and dressing, body carriage and presentation.
Lifesavers bring their patrol skills into the competitive arena when they take part in the Laerdal Queensland Surf Rescue Championships. The Championships, supported for more than a decade by equipment manufacturer Laerdal, is an integral component on the surf sports calendar, focusing not only on the athleticism of lifesavers, but also on their knowledge and the vital skills required to excel as a patrolling member. Lifesavers compete in three areas including patrol, first aid and the Champion Lifesaver competition.
The Pool Rescue Championships take us into aquatic centres around the country to test Australia’s most skilled swimmers and showcase a variety of skills. It is also an opportunity for our elite lifesavers to display the skills that keep them rescue ready for the start of the patrol season. Competitors test their rescue skills with events such as manikin tows, obstacle swims and tube swims carrying patients. The event has expanded to include under-11, under-12 and under-13 athletes.